Goal Mindset: Understanding the 4 Types of Goals

Goal Mindset: Understanding the 4 Types of Goals


“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” Tom Landry

To improve your life, you need to set some important goals. Correct setting of goals will keep you focused and push yourself to get to a higher level of happiness. On the other hand, incorrect setting of goals leads to stress, pain, and unhappiness, making things more difficult to handle.  As a consequence, you become regretful and hard to yourself.

The 4 Types of Goals

Not all people know that there are 4 different types of goals. Every type has a different purpose and affects your life differently. Understanding these 4 types of goals will determine your success, well-being, and happiness.  Let’s see what these 4 types of goals are:

  1. The Being Goal

The ‘being goal’ is what you want to be in life.  It is your own goal for yourself such as personal qualities and values you want to achieve.

People complain about many things, expecting to see what they really wanted. Stop complaining about the condition of the world. Stop complaining and trying to figure out what is missing, what is wrong, and what you expect to see. Do not wait to see the changes you want to see based on your opinions and reactions, instead act and work to change what you need to change in you.

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  1. The Doing Goals

The ‘doing goals’ concentrate on what you can direct and control in your life. This pertains to what you will do in different aspects of life, how to implement them, and why you will do this without expecting anything in return. You are fully aware that you have no control over what others give you to work on but you can do what is important to you.

Let’s say you are working as a sales assistant. Before you offer an item, you need to determine the price of the item first. However, the price is just an outcome of your work. If nobody wanted to buy the item, would you still do your job?

You need to work to live. If you were passionate, you would still continue on offering the product and find ways so people will buy it, whether it is with or without a paycheck.

  1. The Achieving Goals

The ‘Achieving goal’ may seem like having complete control over different situations. Actually, it is confusing as they are not completely within your control. You still need help from other individuals in spite of your best efforts. Here are examples of ‘achieving goals’ and how they rely on outside help.

  • Finish school and earn a degree. Even if you study and work hard, you would still need good teachers and the correct examination papers.
  • Lose 150 lbs. You can start a diet and exercise program but you would still need your body to agree or participate for you to lose those extra pounds.
  • Be the ‘top’ in your profession. Regardless of how hard you work and how good you are or become, there will always be someone who will emerge better than you in your chosen field.
  • Marry or be loved by a specific person. You cannot force someone to marry or love you. Each person has the freedom of choice.
  • Make a million dollars. You cannot just compel people to give you money. You need to work hard to make a million dollars.

The above examples show that some of the ‘achievement goals’ are somewhat within your control; however, you need to be practical and realistic to know what is within your control and what is not.

With achievement goals, make sure to set a target, focus on what you can control, and be flexible to make adjustments if necessary. Try not to be attached to the goal to avoid getting hurt and depressed.

  1. The Having Goals

Consumerism motivates the modern world. You are made to believe that the advertised product will make you happier somehow. Whatever the item is, it will not change your life and give you long lasting happiness, as claimed by the advertisement.

‘Having goals’ like possessions are the most common point where you set your goals. For example, your first goal is to own a helicopter.  It could be that even years later, you still haven’t learned how to drive it.  You may even think you really don’t have to learn driving.  So what’s the reason of having a goal to own a helicopter?

The problem is, most people don’t consider first the most important goals like the ‘being goals’, ‘doing goals’ and ‘achieving goals.’ They normally start with ‘having goals’ which is the least important goal to be successful and happy.

Starting with ‘having goals’ (particularly those that don’t give long-term benefits) makes you deplete valuable resources: your time, energy, money, and attention on things that have no significant impact to your life. These will only leave you with very few resources on the most essential things, such as what you want to be, doing what you want, and achieving what you want.


The desire to have a luxurious life is not wrong but these will not give you ultimate happiness. They should come last so you must prioritize those goals that will make you a happy person – through ‘being’, ‘doing’, and ‘achieving’ goals.